The Meaning(s) of Life

2019-04-13T21:02:51.989Z · score: -3 (6 votes)
Comment by liam-goddard on Meta-Honesty: Firming Up Honesty Around Its Edge-Cases · 2019-04-13T20:20:46.893Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think that since so few people have even heard of Glomarization or meta-honesty they'll be too suspicious. It's better to just say you haven't done it. Now, everyone on here or other websites who knows about these things and rationality, or a Gestapo soldier who knows I know about this- to them, I would Glomarize. If one of you asked me if I had robbed a bank, I would tell you I couldn't answer that because of its effect on my counterfactual selves. If anyone else, who didn't know about Glomarization, asked me if I had robbed a bank, I would tell them I hadn't. I mean, imagine being a police officer, going to a suspect's house, asking if they had robbed a bank, and hearing "I refuse to answer that question." They would take that as a confession.

Comment by liam-goddard on Transhumanism as Simplified Humanism · 2019-04-13T19:49:40.728Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

One of the problems people have with complete immortality is a lack of purpose. They think that if we were immortal, then we would never get anything done because we could always just put it off a few hundred years, and time would be meaningless. Also, we would be bored with life after we did everything. But we could always invent new technology, and create some sort of law system that gave special privileges to those who worked.

And even if they're worried about immortality, complete immortality is impossible. But what's wrong with a long lifespan? What's wrong with thousands or millions of years? People seem to think that the suffering in life should make it not worth it to live... but in that case, why are they living today? Very few people want to die today. Tomorrow, they won't want to die. The next day, they won't want to die. And if they put a certain limit on life, I expect that if they get that old, they won't want to die, no matter what they said. Why, then, do they insist now that they will want to die, and refuse cryonics or other lifespan-increasing options?

Comment by liam-goddard on Tell Your Rationalist Origin Story · 2019-04-13T18:27:14.137Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My path to rationality started with atheism. I had always believed in the Christian God, and never questioned it. But one day I heard a reading in church about how if a city of villains contained but one innocent, God would not strike it down. I remembered the story of the Plagues of Egypt. Um... how was that possible? I thought about how evolution contrasted with "Adam and Eve" and started to wonder how reliable the Bible was. What if God was different from what it said? And then the question I had never asked before came into my head- "How do we know there's a God?"

About an hour later, I had found a total of zero evidence and converted to atheism.

Ever since then, I rebelled against my parents. I knew they weren't always right. If they didn't have a good reason for a rule, I tried to ask them why they were doing it, and since they rarely even gave any reasoning, flawed or not, I usually just acted as if they had never said the rule.

I also enjoyed Harry Potter fanfiction, and one day in February 2019, just over two months before this post, I thought that HPMOR might be interesting, and clicked on it. After discovering all of Eliezer Yudkowsky's writings, I started asking myself, "What do you think you know and why do you think you know it? Why do you believe what you believe?" I found that a large percentage of the beliefs that I held were incorrect.

I've been reading Overcoming Bias, Less Wrong, and other writings by Eliezer Yudkowsky and other rationalists in order to determine what flaws in my reasoning I still have, what biases I hold, and how to fix it ever since then.